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Weekly News (February 19, 2020)

This week’s Interest Rate (8th Week)
(Fairway Asset)

 30 Y Rate: 3.375%/ 15 Year Rate:2.875%/ 10 Y Treasury: 1.651%/  FHA:3.25%/  VA:2.875%
Prime Rate:4.75% / Ref IR: 1.50- 1.75%


The developer has filed a suit against Alpine town government

(The Korea Time/ The Record  2/19 )

  • Richard Kurtz wants to build affordable-housing units if the lots are rezoned to allow for the construction of multifamily housing.  He said Alpine did not consider and evaluate 3 lots comprising 19 acres as part of its Housing element and Fair Housing Plan from 2000, while it determined that only 32 affordable-housing units could be built in the borough because there was no additional land available for the affordable housing.
  • The lots are 1. 858 Closer dock Road, 2. 1 Appletree Lane 14 Frick Drive.
  • Alpine’s population is about 1800 and Korean takes about 20%.
  • Richard Kurtz, the founder and CEO of Kamson Corp. a real estate company file the suit in January, 2020.


Saddle River, NJ approved 277 units of affordable housing project

(The Record 2/19)

  • The borough has chosen five sites, including the former home of Rosie O’Donnell, to build affordable-housing units as part of its agreement with the Fair Housing Center.
  • The borough is one of wealthiest towns in the US with a 2017 median income of $193,705 and a median house value of more than $1M.


NJ lowered “Senior Freeze” program qualification

(The Korea Daily  2/19)

  • When senior citizen moves to other house, the benefit of freezing property tax will follow to new property.
  • Qualification of Senior Freeze is 1. Over 65 years old or disabled 2. Residence in NJ over 10 years. 3. Residence in the current house over 3 years.   Income is less than $89,013 in 2018 and $91,505 in 2019.


High rent becomes burden to more middle class not only to lower income class

(The Korea Times  2/15)

  • According to Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies, renters who pays more than 50% of their income becomes one out four, which is 10.9M.  So called “Cost Burdened Renters” is increased by 6M between 2001 and 2018.
  • The center reported that middle class renters who pay over 30% of income have been increased continually – Income growth cannot catch up rent increase.
  • Big scale real estate investment companies bought massive quantity of homes and use them as income producing vehicle which triggers lack of low rent housing in the market.
  • Low rent housing was 33% of total inventory in 2012, and it became 25% in 2017.


Amazon CEO Bezos becomes Real Estate Mogul?   

(The  Korea Time   2/19)

  • Recently Bezos purchased a luxury house in Beverly Hills at $165M.  He has purchased 2 Ac Spanish style house in 2007 at $24.5M, and next door house at $12.9M in 2017. In 2017, he did buy the lot which was owned by Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft died of a cancer at 65, at $90M.
  • In 2018, he bought a luxury 3 unit condo on 5th Ave, Manhattan at $80M.
  • He also owns luxury houses in Washington DC, Seattle, Texas, etc.
  • From last year he has been focused more buying then selling of real estate.
  • According to “Land Report”, he is 25th among the biggest 100 real estate owners.
  • He is known as #1 for growing assets for last 10 years in US: His assets was $12.3B in 2010 and now it becomes $131B.


Credit Score difference can make $56,000 Interest payment during life time

(The  Korea Daily  2/18)

  • According to, credit score difference between “Fair”(580-669) and “Very Good”(749-799) can make $56,000 interest payment.  When the average debt of 5 kinds of debt (Credit card, Individual debt, Car mortgage, Education loan, Home mortgage) is $328,999, person with “Very Good” score pays a total of interest of $233,209 and person with Fair score pays a total of interest of $289,609 during their life time.
  • In general, keeping balance under 30% of credit limit is a good tactic to maintain good score.  Period of use of credit is also important and the longer, the better without delay of payment: about more than 10 years of mortgage case.
  • Issuing too many new cards will affect the score negatively.
  • FICO scores are based on 1. Payment record, 2.Use of credit Period of credit use  4. New credit card account  5. Combination of credit use.


Foreign student from Korea has been reduced, but early age student increased

(The Korea Time/Korea Daily  2/17)

  • According to ICE, students(college and up) from Korea are about 88,867 which was reduced by 11% from last year.  Students from China are 478,732 which is decreased by 147, and students from India are 251,290 which is increased by 4,157.
  • But early age between elementary to high school students from Korea are being increased and they have reached to 7,241(8.6%) which the 2nd place.  Early age students form China are 42,122(49.2%).


Federal Reserve is concerned  by “FIRE” generation

(The Korea Daily   2/19)

  • The trend of FIRE (Financial Independence and Retire Early) generation (age between 24-29 ) is increased fast.  They pursue less spending and more savings.  Currently US is concerned about low inflation and FIRE trend will make it worse.
  • According to an asset management company’s survey, 43% of M Gen wish to retire before 65.  X-Gen answered 35% to do that.
  • According to BOA, 25% of M Gen saved over $100,000 while it was 16% in 2018.
  • M Gen has experienced financial crises hear US Social Security funds will be reduced in the future.
  • Less spending creates big head ache for Federal Reserve.  Their goal is to bring up the inflation rate to 2% while it is now 1.6%.


Other/Tech News : In NY, no more plastic bags from 3/1/2020

Customers have to prepare their own bags, or pay $0.05 for paper bag – exception: uncooked materials such as meat, fish, seafood,  and flower, plant, etc.


Stephen Lee

He has been in Real Estate industry in about 20 years and has been Broker of Record for 9 years. His experience includes residential, commercial, and property management. Prior to involving with Real Estate business, he has been involved in the digital communication equipment industry utilizing his engineering background and education, including running own company. He has established C Land Realty in 2011 which has grown to staffing over 100 Real Estate agents and the annual transaction amount of over $110,000,000 today.

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